When I hit 38 weeks I was ready. I had our bags packed, all our little guys clothes cleaned and put away, padsicles made, freezer meals waiting, all of it. I was not overly miserable even though it was the end of June and I was super pregnant, but I wanted to just get the birth over with.
I had been dreading childbirth since well before I got pregnant. Who wants to willingly submit themselves to hours of pain and misery? But even so, I knew I wanted to have children. It was just a hurdle I had to jump to get where I wanted to be.
By the time 38 weeks rolled around I had thought way too much about childbirth and I just wanted to rip off the Band-Aid. Well, after each appointment of hearing that he was still super high and my cervix was closed I started to Google everything a person could do to induce labor. Walking, bouncing on the exercise ball, eating pineapple, sex while super pregnant, anything to get that baby headed out.
The night before my due date I was starting to have really regular contractions. I was timing them at about 3 minutes apart while watching a fireworks show then getting everything ready to head to the hospital. They never really got painful and I decided to see if I could sleep. I woke up with no contractions. None. Ugh. I really thought he was coming this time.
At my 40 week appointment I was still completely closed and he was still hanging out very high, so we set a date for induction and sent me on my way. Still continuing to do whatever I could to induce labor naturally I had a friend rub my feet, went for long walks in the miserable heat, and even went Pokémon hunting with my little brother. That little baby was staying put.
The clock ticked down, my husband and I did lots of “last ______ without a baby” things, loaded up our gear and headed to the hospital at about 6:15 am. I preregistered, but it still took at least ten minutes to get checked in. After making it up to the OB floor we found our room and got settled in.
The fun started with the IV. My nurse missed the vein and tried to shove the needle somewhere it did not belong. Thinking about the feeling still makes me cringe. After blaming my veins for being valvey, she decided to put the IV in my right hand. How inconvenient for doing almost anything, let alone pushing later on. At least we hit a vein this time.
My husband and I waited for probably 45 minutes for our doctor to show up and insert the cervix softener. With this I could not get up for 2 hours, which is easier said than done at 41 weeks pregnant. I started having regular contractions around 11 am. We started Pitocin at noon with my cervix still closed and my baby still very high.
About every 30 minutes the nurse would come bump up the Pitocin drip. At first the contractions were not even on the pain scale. It took about 3 or 4 hours to start really feeling the pain. At that point I has having a steady stream of contractions with very little rest between them, but the pain was manageable.
Around 5 it started to get very painful. It was like I was experiencing one big contraction with no rest. I could still talk through them, which made my mother decide they were really not that bad. Now it certainly could have been worse, but it was by no means a walk in the park.
My doctor came back to check in around 6 pm. After checking my cervix, she told me there was no change from this morning. She gave me the option of trying a different cervix softener and doing another bout of Pitocin the next day, breaking my water to see if it would help the progression, or go ahead and pull him with a C-section.
None of these options were particularly thrilling for me. I had just done 6 hours of a pain inducing drug to find out that it had absolutely no change and I had the opportunity to do it again the next day. Or we could just break my water, but there was a catch there. If his cord rushed in under his head we would be rushing back for an emergency C-section and need to have him out in 10 minutes. Or we could have a calm planned C-section, the words I had been dreading since seeing an animated procedure during our birthing classes.
At that point I broke down. Tears. Lots of them. What kind of a crappy range of choices is that? Why did this baby not want to join the rest of the world? With my Pitocin still dripping at about a constant contraction pace and my morale shot with the news of no change, I made the decision to go ahead with the C-section.
That is not how I wanted this to go. I don’t know why, but I just felt like a failure. Why couldn’t I do this right? I was so defeated. My super loving and supportive husband hugged me through my pain and tears telling me he was with me in this. That was really just what I needed. A little affirmation that it’s okay. That wasn’t what we planned, but it was fine.
Someone finally turned off the Pitocin drip (praise the Lord) and I began to mentally prepare myself for what lay ahead. Twenty minutes later we were headed back to prepare for the surgery. It was really all a blur from there. With people rushing around me and others instructing me on what to do, I can honestly say the thing I remember the most was being irritated with the blood pressure cuff.
Right before the procedure was started my husband was ushered in to hold my hand. It was all of ten minutes (was it really, because that’s just what they tell me) before I heard the cries from our baby boy. Something really deep and involuntary within me started me crying again, but this time it was with joy. He was finally here.
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